Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Throw Aurelio Vidmar the coach's coat

Adelaide just about out played Seongnam Ilhwa tonight. While unable to hang onto a 2 goal lead gained early in the 2nd half, Adelaide were the most attacking we have seen them. At last they are getting out from underneath John Kosmina's 'ground them out' football. And giving their fans a solid reason to turn up - even mid-week.

The fall out from Adelaide's 5-0 finals loss to Melbourne is still raining on the club - coach gone, CEO gone, no place place for their captain, Greg Owens off the Central Coast and now Matthew Kemp off to Melbourne. Carl Veart wasn't there tonight.

However, Bruce Djite showed tonight that he may be the new Mark Viduka. He set up the first goal for Fernando and beautifully scored the second. Oh and Djite missed about 6. But let's remember he was playing some of Asia's best defence, who he embarrassed several times and was too unselfish in giving opportunities to his fellow strikers instead of going for it. Also great was Nathan Burns who played more of a mid-field play-maker role than we have seen from him todate.

So it was Vidmar who stared from the bench. His new 4-3-2-1 created more opportunities than Kosmina's 4-4-2. And gave the young players their opportunities in a team that had been dominated by NSL stars. Make no mistake the troubles in the camp plus the off season status made Adelaide the under-dog and Vidmar, after some close first half calls, allowed his side to look the most likely to win.

By the way, Korean football is funny. Apparently, Seongnam are backed by the Moonies and only average 7,000 fans. Yet they have a great pedigree, with some of the best players in Korea and two quality Brazilians. And heaps of money to throw at putting together the squad to win the K-League and Asia. I don't really get it if they can't find fans.

Overall, it looks like given the right conditions, Australian teams win be hard to beat in Asia, and eventually will win the Asian cup. I am looking forward to that - meanwhile Sydney are re-scheduled in Indonesia for 1:30pm tomorrow.


Hamish said...

The result was of course disappointing, but it was a really good game. I watched it at the Pig n Whistle with an Irishman I met there. He is a Man U supporter and a real football fanatic, who follows European, Scottish and English football, and seemed to know the Australian players better than me. He reckoned it was one of the best games he's watched for ages.

Remembering that our teams are burdened with the salary cap, it certainly says something for the quality being produced in Australia.

Cecilia said...

Hey John!

How's the coaching going? Just a quick comment to agree that Djite was awesome last night! Cannot wait for the upcoming A-League season to see how he and Burns develop their on-field relationship. They sometimes combine really well, teasing the rest of us mere mortals with hints of the talent they each possess. I'm also curious to see how Sarkies is going to fit in.

john said...

Good to hear from you both - Hamish and Cecilia

I wasn't expecting much from Adelaide and was surprised about how well they played - particularly with all that stuff going on. It is amazing we can keep up with the cap. Clearly the Indonesian team has spent big on South Americans so they don't suffer the embarrassment they experienced in their last AFc outing (including a 15-0 loss).

Will blog on the coaching soon. Enriching experience. My mission is that the sport is enjoyed over results.

Yes Djite and Burns, where is Queensland's versions? Dario is off the Germany that leave a hole. Kosmina did not worry about seeking out local talent - he just worried about winning - that's what you need at the top level.